Chaos at the Castle


I’ve not managed to get much time on the plot this week. It’s been a bit chaotic at home to say the least. Val’s father celebrated selling his house by giving a bit of money to his children. Very nice of him.

Anyway, we discussed how to spend the windfall and I explained the need for a new computer. After much discussion of processor speeds, memory requirements and the benefits of a RAID system the decision was made and new carpets were ordered.

Nothing goes smoothly, does it? First of all we had to empty the rooms and being as we’re not from the minimalist school, that took ages. Then take up the old carpets and take these off to the tip. This was when we discovered the downstairs toilet was broken and leaking,

More dragging around shops, this time looking at toilets. Exciting is not quite the description but it has to be done. Back to the carpets. Get up bright and early to finish clearing the room, fitters arrive and a couple of hours later the house is looking like new. I move the big items back into the living room and leave Val to deal with the shrapnel. That’s when the next problem appears. No internet. Much re-booting of the router to no avail and I decide to ring for assistance when the problem becomes clearer. No telephone!

The fitters had crimped the telephone wire so I got hold of a wonderful local chap who does aerials and telephone points etc. He actually got around to us at half past six, probably because he couldn’t stand the sound of me crying on his answering machine.

Back on the magic interweb and a flood of emails is waiting for me so most of Thursday is spent catching up on the week’s work. Not quite the week I’d hoped for and we’ve still not got the toilet fixed. Unfortunately my brother in law who did all our plumbing has emigrated and insists we pay his air fare from New Zealand if we want him to do it. Finding a reliable and reasonably priced plumber is not as easy as expected either.

So what has been done on the plot?

Not a lot really, mainly watering in the greenhouses where everything seems to be doing well. I had some brassicas started in modules so they’ve been moved into 3″ pots to give them room to develop whilst I get the bed ready for them. That was a pleasant hour alone on the site, pottering in the greenhouse.

The weeds are doing really well on the plot, so a few hours work to do there and I’ve got, as I said, the brassica bed to prepare. Some of my leeks are ready to go out having been grown in 15 to the tray modules.

My plan is to try a different way than usual. Normally I just dib a hole and drop the leek into it, watering the roots to settle them. It’s worked pretty well but this might just do a better job. I’ll basically plant the modules in a trench and fill it up as we go to increase the blanch. I’ll do some my usual way as well and compare the results.

Back in the home greenhouse the squash had failed to germinate, which was disappointing so I sowed the rest of the packet and this time they’ve come up. Moved them into individual 3″ pots and the two pumpkins have gone from 3″ to 5″ pots. They could have gone into the ground directly, but this will get them off to a really good start before they go out into the big wide world.

I’ve a few cabbages and sprouts in large pots as well, waiting on the brassica bed. I’m not going to beat myself up for being so far behind. Last year the autumn and winter was so wet there wasn’t much opportunity to get jobs done. You can’t dig over when the plot is like a river bed. Plus, like most of us, I have to pay the bills and that involves working.

I’ve some aubergines in the home greenhouse ready to go to the small greenhouse on the plot but the whitefly have descended in force and some greenfly have accompanied them. Since the fruit haven’t started and I don’t want to take the bugs with me, used a spray. It’s supposedly safe to spray and harvest the same day, so I think it’ll be OK. Normally I’m against pesticides but sometimes I think moderate use is justified.

Promising rain tomorrow but a good weekend, so we’ll see what happens.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
2 comments on “Chaos at the Castle
  1. James Dougan says:

    I work for BT and the fitters cutting the phone line is not uncommon. Luckily you never got BT to repair it as you would be looking at a bill of about £200. The words ‘highway’ and ‘robbery’ spring to mind.

  2. John says:

    Hi James

    I plugged into the socket in the master socket so I knew it was my end. In some ways things were easier in the old days. If the trimphone stopped working you knew who to blame!

    Mind you, running a blog via teleprinter might not be so easy.

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